Part 25: Episode XXV: The ApostleEpisode XXV: The Apostle
You know, I feel like Patricks Mansion is less a mansion and more just a renovated church annex. Thats like me calling my tool shed a summer home or the garage a guest bungalow. I mean its front door is just to a courtyard that goes nowhere. Does it even have windows to the outer side of the monastery?
If you need a refresher on where we are relatively in Nemeton Monastery, heres a look at the map. Were now on the other side of the church where the Gargoyle is hanging out waiting for us to eventually come back and fight it. Well, either that or a rich CEO will move Nemeton monastery to a skyscraper roof brick by brick and itll be someone elses problem.
At the far end of the Vestry/Patricks Quarters connecting hallway, we find an elaborate ornamental display Koudelka seems to want to fiddle with here. Taking a closer look reveals...
A puzzle, naturally. What else were you expecting? Koudelka seemingly has an obsessive compulsive need to mess with these dolls strictly from right to left. So we need to decide with each doll whether it is facing the correct direction or not. Its not too hard a leap of logic to figure the puzzle wants all four dolls facing to the center structure...
...Which means dolls number one and four need to be turned around. Mystery solved to a locked door weve yet to even lay eyes upon. Thats the way Sacnoth rolls with its game design.
Turns out it just unlocked the gate in the very next room. Why the architects of the monastery felt the need to have just this segment of hallway barred off between a couple of doors is a mystery to all. Perhaps Raccoon Citys architects hailed from Wales. Was George Trevor Welsh...?
As I stated previously, were plum out of new enemies during random battles. But the beasties trolling the Vestry were kind enough to drop a couple more weapons
Edward, would you like your punch to also be a stab? Well son, we got you the hook-up. Dual-class in punch boy and stabby boy! Its a revolution!
If thats not working for you, weve also got this... bladed pinwheel on the end of a glove? This in no way looks safe or efficient as a weapon. Does it blow in the breeze? I cannot imagine a deadly fan stuck to the end of your hand can result in anything other than eventually lopping off a finger by mistake. I bet Voldo from Soul Calibur would be into these. If something this dumb wasnt already one of his alternate weapons. Dude has giant scissors, a drill and tambourines stuck to gloves. A chopper fan isnt that outlandish.
Id also just like to note that Koudelka leveled up to some random trash mob. Id been keeping her Intelligence, PIE and Mind stats even for the most part. That eventually paid off.
Getting back on track, were now in the Vestry proper. Weve got three directions we can head from here. Straight ahead leads to the area boss fight. Spoilers.
To the left is a gate barring... another gate which in turn ought to lead to the western clock tower. Wed best be wary of men running with scissors, evil pirate grandpas and sledgehammers. Unless it turns out Koudelka used to be a Rooder. Then its probably fine. I get very upset it'll take me like five minutes to remember the name of some mildly obscure actor in something off the top of my head with looking it up. But my memory can drum up the name of the stupid magical girl term from Clock Tower 3 at the drop of a hat.
The path to the right leads into a dimly lit adjoining room. Those unlit candles by that altar looks suspicious. But rather than investigating it when clicking on the table, Koudelka instead decides to jump up on it like an ill-mannered weirdo. This results in...
Maybe if you lit a candle... The room brightens as you light the candle. Lighting the candle used up your last match; you throw away the now-empty Tinderbox.
Yeesh, Koudelka. Did nobody tell you not to litter? Especially, while standing on some holy altar in the middle of a church. Im not even religious and I know thats kind of a dick move. Whatever you saw had best be good...
Ah, naturally a life siphoning super sword was lost behind the cushions of some couch in a dark room in the back of the monastery. The description of the Lifedrinker is... just outright wrong. This sword steals a significant amount of HP (and heals the person swinging it.) It has no negative effects on the wielder whatsoever. Lifedrinker adds an impressive +35 Strength and Dexterity and lowers -5 Vitality, -3 Agility and -6 Luck. Which isnt too bad of a trade-off. It also is considered a special weapon, so it gets a default minimum of 100 strikes before it can potentially break.
Its probably objectively the second best sword in the game. Two weapons have higher stat boosts but one of em... has an issue well tackle when we obtain it very shortly.
Retracing our steps and getting back on course, lets see whats in the northern door of the central Vestry hall.
To the shock of no one, since I just said earlier in the update that the boss was in the top route room are you EVEN paying attention, something is not right in here. Were going to do a touch of preparatory work before venturing forth.
Namely, were going to equip Edward with Ogdens Axe. Apparently the first use of fingerprinting to identify a murderer was in 1892. But ehh... its probably fine if you get your mitts all over the murder weapon, pal. An extra 40 Strength will do us well in this upcoming fight. The drain on maximum HP is a bit much. But its manageable for our purposes.
New Music: Incantation Again ~ Live (Just the normal version plays here but fuck it. Its the Disc 3 end boss. Have a special rendition.)
So... this happening now. Meet the final boss of Disc 3 -- The Apostle... who looks to be on loan from a Shin Megami Tensei game. Its always good to see some manner of angelic being that is less like the contemporary elves sans pointing ears and plus wings and more the actual biblical description of fucked up Lovecraftian horrors.
Unlike a good chunk of bosses in Disc 3, this one 'tis a troubling foe and comes packing an 8281 units of health, Arisen. Koudelka had initiative in this fight so were IMMEDIATELY going to toss a Level 3 Flare at the Apostle. This is technically a Wind (and Light) Elemental enemy. But it is not actually weak to any form of magic. This is the most damage were going to be putting out from any attack on that front.
Meanwhile well have Edward rush in and do the business with Ogdens Axe. He needs to redeem himself after our resident tank has been less than useful offensively the past few major encounters.
In fact, were going to have James pump him full of fortifies for Agility and Strength since Edward is the MVP for this battle for one very important reason well see in a moment.
Edward will also be the one tanking most of the damage. The Apostle has a physical attack with a very appropriate (its not set this was just damage calculation luck) damage output that will only hit anyone on the front row. The Apostle doesnt seem to have much interest in moving from its position. It took a lot of work to get itself hanging upside down from a holy energy ring. Its not going to muck it up moving a couple squares on the grid.
Apostle also has a sweeping laser blast (which only actually targets a single character despite the animation) that does comparable damage to its physical slap. This one at least has the potential to target James and Koudelka. Though in our case, the Apostle just REALLY hated Edward and targeted him most of the time.
The thing about its physical and laser attacks is that they have a chance of inflicting Paralysis which is less than optimal for Edward. Well need to burn a Panacea or two getting Edward back on task. Thankfully, it was only the once during this fight. Were pretty low on status clearing items seeing as... weve picked up three back in Disc 1 and three more since then. With two of them being burned during the Dark Young boss battle. Theyre kinda stingy with those in this game. Meanwhile we're carrying around 50 whiskeys we've only had to use exactly once ever thus far.
Getting the brunt of damage and having lower HP than normal thanks to Ogdens Axe, if James isnt buffing then hell need to heal if Edward falls anywhere short of around 900 total HP. James is strong enough with magic that its straight up a full heal on Ed, so we can let him ride pretty long before giving him a boost.
The creatures third and final attack is summoning a holy light from the heavens to target anyone in the back rows. This is considered a magical attack so Koudelka/James will straight no-sell it damage wise. Unfortunately, this attack also is almost guaranteed to inflict Silence and that is... problematic for casters. The only time Apostle used it in our fight was just before he died, so it wasnt too much of an inconvenience. But we might have just gotten lucky.
But enough about all that. We should get to the actual heart of the problem with this boss. It has a unique gimmick to it. The Apostle has two idle stances when its not attacking. One is almost entirely stationary and just floats serenely as the eerie nightmare it is...
At other times, it will start violently shaking non-stop like its having some manner of seizure. This idle animation is the big problem. Its also the reason why Edward is important this battle.
Physical attacks while the Apostle is having a fit will all miss. It is completely impossible to hit it, even if you cheated your stats all up to maximum. Its just immune to physical strike damage 100% of the time. But thats just a wasted Edward turn and no big deal.
Magical attacks, on the other hand, will be completely absorbed and heal the Apostle for the amount of damage it would normally have damaged it. Thats a REAL problem. Additionally, as far as I can tell the Apostle has no set tell or even time when itll switch between twitchy mode and calm mode. Itll just pop between the states as soon as any action (its own or the parties) has concluded. So you can run into fun instances where Koudelka can queue up a magic attack and have it revert to the dancing state by the time she actually casts the attack. As such, using magic at all is a risky proposal.
Which is why we have reliable Edward and Ogdens Axe. Pumping Edward full of magical Strength and Agility drugs from the resident Fortify dealer James can get Eddie swinging 1-2 times every time the Apostle chills out and is a reliable way to chip away effectively at Apostle until its dead without risk of screwing timing/angering the RNG gods and restoring a fifth of its HP from an ill-timed magic attack.
Plus now that Ogdens Axe is covered in otherworldly abomination blood that should cancel out any evidence pointing to Edward being the Welsh Axemen serial killer. Nice bonus!
Slaying the Apostle gets
Destroying the boss of the Vestry of course restores the Holy Water Font and gives us a permanent save point. Just in time too!
That time is upon us one last time. 11:11:11 and 43 items in our inventory, a saved game and a reset later and we get...
The Gargoyle Killer the strongest sword in the game. Kinda. This variation of the Bastard Sword grants +99 Strength, Vitality, Dexterity and Agility at the cost of -20 Intelligence, PIE, Mind and Luck. There is a catch though... It breaks after just three hits. Granted... those three hits will almost assuredly do what it says on the front of the box -- kill the Gargoyle. I suppose that is a decent reward for putting up with all this item unlock nonsense.
There is one final unlockable weapon. However, that requires having a total playtime twice this at 22:22:22 and... man theres maybe two hours left of this game. Tops... Im not setting an alarm on my phone and being sure to be near my computer like nine hours later just properly show a screenshot of a brokenly overpowered weapon. Yes, its not hard to accomplish that in theory. Having an incredibly inconsistent schedule at all times between work and two kids however makes it a real big ask to do that shit, ya dingus. Heres the final weapon:
Its just a fucking 2x4 Board renamed to Rogers Cane that gives whoever has it equipped (Koudelka) +99 Intelligence and Piety, making magic absurdly powerful in a game with no enemies that actually require being that strong to beat. Youd have my day scheduled around being home to get this crap? A very magical piece of wood from Home Depot!? I hope you tumble out a window in precisely 12:12:12 from when youre reading this.
Ahem... Where were we...? Ah yes, we killed the Apostle. This boss was somehow a physically load bearing creature as the gate to the left of the boss room chamber has suddenly vanished. Thats one of the few bosses where you could tell me it was producing a mysterious force and Id nod and say that checks out. But no. It was connected to some manner of actual switch that lowered a gate out of the way. Sure, why not?
Approaching the former site of this gate will lead to the final scene of Disc 3. So...
This must be the temple.
<shoves door> Theres no way! Even if I put a bullet through it and it wouldn't budge!
<fruitlessly shoves on door> Please dont start randomly shooting the door.
<crackles knuckles> All right, then. Ill ju
Dont punch the gate either, Edward!
...No. I-I wasnt. Well...
What are we gonna do!?
How ironic to have made it this far and not have access to the temple.
I dont think thats irony. Thats just rotten luck.
Koudelka, Edward. You both must go now. It is my friend that is apparently responsible for this disturbance and therefore I am partially responsible for this trouble.
Theres a lot of things I could blame you for but... thats not remotely one of them... That old mummy man is more at fault than you.
I dont know. I feel like the Catholic Church as a whole has an assist in this whole mess.
I have no of intention for asking for your sympathy and I am no position to plead for your help. So from this point forward, I can manage on my own.
<walks up to James> Dont kid yourself. We didn't come along just for your sake.
Im the one this Elaines ghost summoned here. Im not leaving until this gets sorted out and I stop getting bugged by wandering spirits at 3:00 AM while Im trying to sleep...
No. Koudelka you should go back now. It'll be far too dangerous.
Edward, you're the one who should go home. You were not meant for this world. Granted you are a good fighter, having had plenty of experience and I won't deny the fact that you have the killer instinct either. But when all is said and done, you are an average Joe. I am not... I was meant to exist in this realm. It's the only place I can carve out an existence for myself.
This is my normal.
Hey! Who just killed that eye covered... angel thing, huh? Me!
...I just said youre a pretty good fighter. Aside from that, you also have no absolutely no stakes here, Edward. Youre just some random guy who wandered into other peoples story and got caught up in something well above his head, is the point.
Quit lecturing me! I want no part of a lukewarm existence filled with regret. No... My way is to not worry about consequences and to do whatever it is that I want to do... Chance means nothing to me. Life's a gamble and once you place your bet you better play to win or else you end up dead.
You do realize if I hadnt showed up you would have ended up dead twice within the hour we met, right?
Yeah well... I didnt die. So luck was on my side! I was right taking that bet coming here!
That's not how thatyou know what? Forget it.
<chuckles> You really are ridiculous...
Thats what they tell me.
<walks up to gate and starts examining it> Do as you like...
That I will!
<gestures to gate> Oh! Suddenly when you feel like it you decide when you can and cannot open doors...?
I mean... I still havent tried punching it...
...Wait! There's a way. Remember when we were searching Patrick's mansion? There was various chemicals around. It may take some time, but I think I can combine the chemicals to make nitroglycerine.
That's great! We're talking POWERFUL explosives here!
No back it up, James. How do you know how to mix nitroglycerine!?
I had a minor in chemistry back in university before switching over to theology after... the Elaine and Patrick business...
So you dabbled in it... what? Twenty years ago? So long ago I wasnt even BORN yet?
I was a very diligent study, thank you very much.
That doesnt fill me with confidence...
For this door I think we'll need a full flask. Indeed if I drop the flask before I return, I'll be knocking on Heaven's door in a flash!
That is not reassuring!
Naw, this is going to be great!
You just want to see something explode...
No! Dont be silly.
<nods wisely> No thats not it... Im hoping I get to shoot the flask to MAKE it explode.
This plan is going to kill us all...
I go and it is done. The bell invites me.
"Hear it not, Duncan, for it is a knell. That summons thee to heaven or to hell. <walks off to begin his task>
<deep sigh> You idiots are going to get me killed...
And with that, Disc 3 of Koudelka draws to a close. Hey, that was actually a decent stopping point for a disc transition for a change! Still no save point or anything. But... baby steps. In any case, tune in next time for the dawn of the final disc of Koudelka! The plan to blow up a door with nitroglycerine in order to toss a dead saints arm into a magic cooking pot and burn/drown the resurrected body of some overly religious lady who died off-screen two decades ago now commences! Stay tuned...
Video: Episode 25 Highlight Reel